Tom Sagar wins E2 Championship
on Day 1 Results Day One Day Two Combined
Report & photos by Bob Mullins
The final round of the Metzeler ACU British Enduro Championship took place at Longmoor Camp near Borden this weekend. David Knight had secured the overall championship at the Dyfi and he was be competing in the EWC but there is still a lot to play for. Only 5 points separated E1 4T leader Daryl Bolter from Paul Edmondson in 2nd place and Tom Sagar still needed to score points to take the E2 championship. 2 days of rain had drenched the South East and a biting North wind reminded everyone that it was the end of the season and Autumn had arrived but on Friday evening a clear sky blew in with the promise of sun.
Day 1:By 7.30am the main race of the day was over and Mick Seward had secured the best pitch in pits. Overnight the sky had been clear as a bell and the security light around the parc ferme had been unnecessary under a huge Autumn moon that shone like a spotlight The start was at 10.00am. There were 3 and a half laps for the Championship class. Alex Rockwell's season of frustration continued, After setting the fastest time overall on the opening test his Husqvarna's electrics packed up. There were the usual Acerbis MX test in the Sand Bowl and Putoline Extreme/XC test close to the start. Kevin Murray, Neil Hawker and their team had laid out an exciting MX circuit with Tim Beavan's plant and advice from Daryl Bolter. The Wall was included again this year in the Extreme/XC with the concession of a small pile of house bricks to encourage a few more frame benders. Al Cook threw in some logs and a tyre wall for good measure. Max Woon needed a check up after he hit a kicker in the Sand Bowl and he was thrown into the path of his own bike but he was OK. Tom Howe injured his shoulder and Rich Troth twisted the ligaments in his knee. Paul Bolton's Moose made a surprise appearance. Dave Brick and Dan Beavan also shredded their rubber. Longmoor is hard on Mooses and most of the top riders went for a desert compound for a tube. Tom Sagar was the Day one winner and he won the E2 championship. Paul Edmondson took 2nd by the narrowest of margins from Daryl Bolter to take the E1 4T championship down to the last day. Greg Evans was 4th and Danny McCanney sounded a warning for 2011 with a 5th in his first BEC championship ride. Danny's 16 year old younger brother Jamie also did well in his first enduro. He won the Expert class with times that would have made him 12th overall. Ollie Moyce and Ashley Wood continued their battle for the Junior championship. MPS Racing's Jason Davis flew in from New Zealand, stripped the rally gear off a borrowed Husky 510 and finished 12th overall. Gavin Houson was the runner up in the Experts and Frazer Norrie was 3rd. Aaron Smith had recovered from the elbow injury that put him out of the 24 hour D2D and Kristian Pickworth had almost knitted his collarbone back together. On his return to the BEC, Wyn Hughes set the fastest times by 20 seconds on the first 4 tests in the Expert Vets but he went the wrong way in the complex area around the pits and missed the last test of the day. Murray Thomson took the win and the championship from runner up Jack Twentyman. Released from his sidecar, Ian Barnett was 3rd. Having your own track certainly helps Danny Hall who finished 4th. Russell Millward won the Vets B ahead of Phil Smithson. Graham Howes snapped his chain. He carried 2 spare links but they chain snapped twice again and he had to fit a new guide for day 2. Darren Vincent dropped 45 minutes when he drowned his bike but he finished. Rich Troth twisted his ankle & Pete Stewart broke his wrist. Gary Wright was the fastest of the quads. He was the only quad but his time was equal to the top twenty in the clubman solo. The live entertainment on Saturday night was a haircut as Eddy Mason lost the Mullet and raised £900 for charity.
Day Two was similar to Day One but the start was brought forward to 9.00am and the course was reversed. A light covering of cloud blotted out the sun and it felt cooler but the loss of shadows in the trees made for better riding. Tom Sagar powered into an early lead. Alex Rockwell's Husqvarna sounded sweeter as he moved up into 2nd and he led the E1 4T class from Paul Edmondson in 2nd and Daryl Bolter in 3rd. The order was very significant. In the pits the excitement began to grow with the realisation that this could be one of closest finishes possible. After 6 rounds, 66 tests and probably 6+ hours of flat out racing, the E1 4T championship would be decided by half a second on the last test of the last day and it was Daryl Bolter had that half a second. 20 years ago Paul had won his first overall BEC title on a KTM prepared by Julian Stevens, but this time Paul would be competing against KTM and Julian and the KORR team, After the race Julian said "20 years later Fast Eddy has lost none of his determination and skill and made Daryl and his team work very hard to retain their E1 class title". Danny McCanney should he has consistency and finished in 5th . Euan McConnell woke up with conjunctivitis and rode most of the day with one eye closed. It didn't hamper him though and he moved up from 11th to 6th. Riding with both eyes closed he could have won? Ashley Wood secured the Juniors championship despite a late surge from Ollie Moyce who had two 2nd places behind Danny McCanney. James Jackman was riding well before he lost his ignition. James Giddings won the E1 2T championship & Tudur Davies was the runner up. Richard Ely was the best E1 4T ahead of James Burroughs. Alyn Scotland was injured on his 2nd MX test. A couple of naughty boys tried to join in with the race but they were dealt with by local Police. Robert Tucker was another rider with Moose problems. In his case only half the tyre was flat. As he rode. the bike bobbed up and down like a horse on a carousel. He did well to finish 9th.
The Sheep Skulls team of David Knight, Danny McCanney & Russell Millward won the Team Competition despite a DNF in final round. The Putoline Suzuki fasteddyracing.com pairing of Tom Sagar and Paul Edmondson were runners up and they won the Best Trade award. REME A (Steve Hunt and Kev Murray) was the Best Service team and brothers Edward and Robert Jones won the Best Club award for Hafren. The Team Competition raised £600 for the ISDE team which will be carried forward to Finland in 2011
SAGAR & RMX450Z - 2010 BRITISH E2 ENDURO CHAMPIONS
Team Putoline Suzuki by www.fasteddyracing.com rider Tom Sagar, clinched the British E2 Enduro Championship at the weekend, powering his Suzuki RMX450Z to a convincing win on both days to take the 2010 title.
With both Tom and team manager Paul Edmondson looking to secure a title each at the final round, the first day of the Natterjack enduro would see a perfect start with both riders winning their class and Tom taking the E2 title with a day to go.
But it would be the second day that would prove eventful, with Edmondson swapping the initiative with rival Daryl Bolter right up until the final test of the day. With one of the tightest finishes in enduro history, Edmondson was looking strong right until the last special test, where a crash effectively ended his hopes of victory, handing the enduro win and E1 championship to Bolter with just three and a half seconds separating the pair.
In the E2 class, things would run much smoother for Sagar. Despite some stiff competition on the second day, the RMX450Z rider was able to stamp his authority in the special tests, to take the win and end his victorious year in the best way possible.
Tom Sagar commented, "I'm absolutely over the moon to take the championship title and especially pleased to give Suzuki a British title in their first year back in the sport. The RMX450Z has been fantastic all year-long. From the moment I got my first ride on it at the launch, I knew it was a special bike and its proven that again this weekend by winning with what was effectively a stock machine. I'd naturally like to thank everyone who has supported me this year, especially Paul who put together a package that allowed me to concentrate on my racing 100%."
Team manager and E1 class runner-up, Paul Edmondson, commented, "It's all a bit bittersweet for me. Personally I'm absolutely gutted to miss out on the championship by such a small margin, but I've got to be proud with my performance and remind myself that I'm almost twice the age of many of my rivals. Congratulation to Daryl, he kept me on my toes all year long and rode well. Naturally I'm delighted that we clinched the E2 title with Tom. He's ridden extremely well all season and clicked with the RMX from the beginning. He's concentrated on his racing all year and has shown everyone what he is capable of. Big thanks to all supporters and sponsors, we couldn't have done this without you."
KORR Team and KTM claim 2 more Championships
The Natterjack Enduro held on Military tank training grounds and excellently organised by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers would be the final BEC of 2010 and decide the fight for the E1 championship.
The battle between Daryl Bolter and Paul Edmondson has been very close with the pair trading 1st and 2nd places all year long. 20 years ago Paul Edmondson won his first overall BEC title on a KTM and that machine was also prepared by Julian Stevens, but this time Paul would be competing against KTM and Julian and the KORR team, 20 years later Fast Eddy has lost none of his determination and skill and made Daryl and his team work very hard to retain their E1 class title.
Coming into the event Daryl just needed to win one day to claim the title and Paul had to win both days. The first MX test would see Daryl take a small crash loosing vital seconds, but he still managed to match the time of Fast Eddy but lost a possible advantage, going through the day Paul had the advantage in the sand bowl MX tests but Daryl seemed more comfortable in the Enduro test, going into the final cross-country test Daryl trailed Paul by just over 8 seconds, but a big effort would see him better Paul by 9 seconds, unfortunately this was not quite enough and Daryl lost the day by just 0.33 seconds . Now the pressure was really on, whoever would win the final day and whoever made the least mistakes would take the title.
Sunday morning and both riders came out fighting and determined to win, Daryl started off with the advantage on lap one beating Paul on all tests, but during lap 2 he would make a mistake in the MX test and Eddy lifted his pace and closed the gap to within 3 seconds. A faultless final lap by Daryl would see him beat Paul by 4 seconds and take the title to add to the ACU British Cross-country title he won earlier in the season.
Recently crowned European E2 Champion Greg Evans who had crashed out of the last BEC was not really in contention for the E2 BEC title which he had lead earlier in the season and just rode steadily to hold 2nd place in the championship.
Recent 24 hour Dawn to Dusk overall winner James Giddings also enjoyed a great weekend and won his first ACU British Championship title, the first year on a KTM 125 and he has won the Expert 125cc Class.
Gas UK Enduro Team
The Gas Gas UK Enduro team saw a successful end to the 2010 ACU British Enduro Championship when both Ashley Wood and Daniel McCanney recorded strong results at the final round. Ashley started the weekend with the Under 23 title in his sights and his hard work was rewarded when he took the title at the end of the two days. Finding the event more physically challenging than he had expected Wood battled with Midwest's Ollie Moyce going on to finish the day only one second behind Moyce. The two swapped times throughout the two special tests as Wood went on to finish in seventh place overall and fourth in class on the first day. Wood struggled to settle on Sunday and failed to match the pace from the previous day although he still did enough to take the Under 23 title. Eventually finishing tenth overall and sixth in class his focus is now on winter training in preparation for the start of the 2011 championship.
After taking the Expert title earlier in the year Manxman Daniel McCanney decided to compete in the highly competitive Championship class for the final round of the series. Not quite sure what to expect and unsure of the pace McCanney started the first day edging on the side of caution. After recording some of the quickest test times of the day McCanney went onto finish fifth overall and first in class. Despite this stunning result he felt he could go faster and pushed harder on the second day but after getting caught behind slower riders more than once during the tests he matched his result from the previous day finishing fifth overall and once again topped E3 class. He has without doubt fired a warning shot the rest of the paddock for the 2011 season when he will certainly be someone to watch out for.
Ashley Wood: "I'm more than happy with my performance over the weekend, I did exactly what I needed to do and took the Under 23 title. I started the round knowing I needed to beat Ed Jones which I managed to do so I'm happy with that. The tests were really good, it's always nice to have something a little bit different from grass and the sand motocross test was good fun. I found the event harder than previous years but I'm happy that I managed to get the job done. Thanks to John Shirt, Rob Sartin and Steve Plain for all their help throughout the 2010 season."
Daniel McCanney: "I started the weekend not really sure what to expect to be honest; I knew it would be a jump up from the Expert class but I'm pretty happy with how things went overall. Finishing fifth on both days is good and I've got to be happy with the result but I know I could have gone quicker. I got stuck behind a rider on a couple of the tests which slowed me but these things happen. It's made me realise what Championship pace is like and I'm really looking forward to next year when I can spend a full season fighting for the title. Thanks to John Shirt and Steve Plain for their support, my bike was stunning from start to finish!"
We also had good results from Team SPGGUK Riders BRADLEY KING and LUKE MEREDITH. Bradley was 4th in Championship E3 Class (17Th overall) on Day 1 and 4th again on Day 2 but 15th overall. LUKE took a weekend off Motocross and borrowed our demo GAS GAS 2011 CC250, which was different than his usual 450 4 stroke KTM. Luke took a while to get used to 2T power again but soon got settled. He was racing in the Expert Class and finished 5th on Day 1 (7th overall) and alot better on Day 2 finishing 2nd in E2 and 2nd overall.
Strong Finish to the End of the Season for both Team riders
The final round of the Metzeler ACU British Enduro Championship took place at Longmoor Camp near Borden this weekend. Heavy thunderstorms on Thursday had drenched the sandy venue and a biting North wind reminded everyone that Autumn had arrived but Saturday morning saw sunshine and a ground frost to make the circuit nearly perfect for competition. The course consisted of a mx test in the large "sand bowl" and an extreme enduro test through the forest which included climbing a brick wall and negotiating various tyre and log obstacles. Day 1 started at 10am and the day would consist 3 and half laps and 7 special tests and consistency was the order of the day for Midwest Husaberg UK rider Ollie Moyce in the ultra competitive championship class which awarded him with 3rd in E2 class and 6th overall. Fellow team rider, Tyson Maytom-Jones was competing in the E3 Expert class which again was a very close fought group with many riders making lots of mistakes in the deep sand mx test. Tyson also rode sensibly and used the massive power of his Husaberg 570 to have his best finish of the season by winning the E3 Expert class and finished 10th overall.
Day 2 started an hour earlier at 9am and under grey, cloudy skies and a bitterly cold wind saw the course was rode in reverse direction to the previous day. There were only 6 special tests on day 2 as the soft, sandy course had become very rutted so it was to be another day of trying not to make any mistakes in the sandy going as the slightest lapse in concentration would result in loosing the bike in the soft sand. At the end of the day Ollie Moyce had again matched his previous day's position again finishing a well deserved 3rd place in E2 class and 7th overall giving him a 3rd in class and 6th overall result after the 2 days. E3 expert rider Tyson Maytom-Jones made a few more mistakes on day 2 and despite winning the E3 class he dropped to 12th overall on the day but after the 2 days riding was awarded with 9th overall and E3 class winner. All the team and Husaberg motorcycles performed excellently all weekend without any problems.
Pictures: Martin Harding of Ollie no:21 & Tyson No:66
MPS Racing Enduro Team
The final round of the ACU British Enduro Championship was bitter-sweet for MPS Racing as their riders experienced mixed fortunes throughout the weekend. Manxman Alex Rockwell set the fastest opening test on the first day and was set to take the fight to the rest of the championship class but his TE250 suddenly developed an electrical problem which was eventually traced to a faulty ECU. The second day was by far the best of Rockwell's season with him placing second overall; beating several of the regular podium riders he set some of the quickest times of the weekend and proved just what he is capable of when everything falls into place.
A possible new addition to the MPS team for next year made his first visit to the Natterjack with Jason Davies flying all the way from New Zealand to take part in the event. Although very different from what he is used to he rode well to finish twelfth overall on the first day. Unfortunately his borrowed TE510 'trail' bike wasn't able to put up the same fight on the second day and a damaged rear shock saw him retire mid day. Considering the machine was in full rally / trail riding specification including a 22 litre Safari tank fitted prior to the event both man and machine did remarkably well.
After returning from injury earlier in the year Matt Ridgeway is riding each event as it comes but with his fitness level still not 100% he struggled to maintain a quick pace on the first day and was asked to retire by team manager Mick Seward. The second day was much better for Ridgeway who managed to finish and came home eighteenth overall. With the winter ahead of him Matt will spend plenty of time getting back to his previous fitness levels ready for the approaching 2011 season. Young Robert Johnson had a good weekend finishing fourth overall and top E1 four-stroke during both days. This was only his second ever British Championship event and is looking forward to being able to ride a full season as soon as he turns seventeen.
Murray Thomson wins ACU British Vet Expert Championship
D3 Racing’s Murray Thomson has won the ACU Metzeler British Enduro Veteran Expert Championship after winning at The Natterjack Enduro at the weekend. Murray on his KTM 300, supported by his wife Tracy, has been competing in the British Championship for twenty years and this is one of the most deserved wins in recent times. Murray just missed out on the title last year although he has always been a contender in the Expert class and ultimately the Veteran Expert class. Murray always excels in the tough muddy condition which makes his win at the weekend all the more satisfying as the sandy conditions are not his favourite. The Veteran Expert class is no easy option as all the top riders in the class are previous British champions with fierce competition between the rivals. Murray, a four times Scottish Champion, has suffered from poor circulation in his hands which has made the long days on the bike more difficult over the years, even resorting to heated handle bars grips for some enduros. Murray and Tracy are two of the most organised couples in the Enduro paddock and it is this combined with Murray’s fitness regime that has seen them rewarded with the British title. This will be a welcomed result in the paddock as Murray is a popular and larger than life character in the parc ferme with his booming voice, you always know when Murray is around and he now has a serious result to shout about.
At 6am on Friday morning the Radio 4 weatherman predicted that this weekend would be the prefect opportunity to get out & enjoy the colours of Autumn. How right he was. At Longmoor camp there was a beautiful display of oranges, reds & yellows as KTMs, Hondas & Suzukis lined up under a TM blue sky for the final round of the Metzeler ACU British Enduro Championship.
This 31st Natterjack had full championship status & had attracted top class entry. Despite already clinching the overall Championship at the Dyfi, David Knight flew back from America to compete & French WEC rider Christophe Nambotin crossed the channel to represent Gag Gas. He must have felt at home walking the sandy tests as the weather was more like the South of France than the South of England. Most of the top riders took the opportunity to walk the tests more than once. In fact the organisers are considering introducing a ban on trainers in future & only allowing flip flops on the test to cut down on erosion. All the riders had Metzeler stickers not everyone had a spaniel although most people did.
Although the short season has meant that some Championships have already been decide. many more were still up for grabs. TM riders Jamie Paget & Gordon Clarke competing for the E3 title & KTM riders Daryl Bolter were head to head for the E1/4T. Carl Tiley had already won the Vets championship but Nick Craigie offered him a factory TM tide he couldn't resist.
The course was laid out by the REME team in the familiar clover leaf with the start/finish, MX & cross country test at the centre. Dusty Martin planned the cross country test & Daz Wilcocks did the MX with Tim Beaven on the dozer. The introduction of extreme elements into the cross country test took a giant step forward with the inclusion of a Giant Step. There were also tyres , logs & a wet bombhole.
Scrutineering began at 2.30pm & finished at 9.00pm. Paul Edmondson took the opportunity to run his ISDE bike passed the sound tester. The Natterjack is the only event this year to have a Parc Ferme but the Army does have very good security.
As soon as the sun went down so did the temperature. By 9pm everyone was indoors & the start was a ghost town.
A cold, clear night bloomed into another beautiful day. The start was at 10am. There were 4 laps for the Championship/Experts & 3 laps for the Clubmen. As soon as the riders were safely away, the spectators gathered at "the Step". As it was untimed on the first lap, several riders took up the challenge with greater or lesser success. With the alternative 100yd loop through the trees adding 12 to 15 seconds to their test times, many riders thought it was worth a try..
David Knight went out on the first lap with clutch problems. Are we sitting comfortably? Yes. Then I'll begin. David was playing in the woods when he lost his clutch. The 2010 plates he had fitted were a bit to thin for the 09 basket so David's friend Leo fitted a second set with an extra plate but that was too tight. Finally they fitted a new basket & that was just right. There were some bears in the woods but that is another story. Seriously David was fortunate to discover the problem ahead of the ISDE & thanks to Alan King of K4 Offroad for driving to the shop in Dorchester for the parts.
Away from the drama in the pits, Edward Jones was the first Championship rider to attempt "the Step" on the timed lap. He scored a 5 but remounted almost immediately & lost very little time. Andrew Edwards caught a tree trunk on the way up which snagged his throttle & almost launched his KTM over the second wall. Meanwhile his second bike which was on sale at the start was being cannibalise to replace the bits that were piling up at the base of the wall. There were sumpguard guards & crankcasings. Paul Bolton with his extreme experience was one of the neatest on the step but he dropped a minute clocking in early after losing his fuel crew. Rxpert Rhienallt & Tudor Davies had no problems. Tyson Maytom-Jones snapped his Husaberg's rear brake cylinder but fortunately Andrew's KtTM had the same parts. In a gesture of sportsmanship that typifies Enduro riders, Tyson lent Ben Begbie a set of brake pads when he lost a pin. Ben was Tyson's closest rival for the Expert E3 title. Lewis Belfield blew a shock & replaced a casing but still finished clean. David Lloyd-Jones retired after falling in the sand pit & aggravating the wrist injury he has been struggling with since June. James Yearley's landed heavily off the big jump in the sandpit & lost his BMW's gear selector. Mick Seward did a lap & retired. He has a big week ahead of him preparing for the ISDE. Rich Williams started a small private collection of punctures. James Burroughs' lost his battery charge overnight. Phil McLaughlin managed hitch a lift on a quad when he landed on one in the sandpit. Following the results became impossible as trials riders surged ahead on the XC test & the motocrossers made up time in the sand. Gethin Price retired on the last lap after going through 4 plugs.
Christophe Nambotin won the overall & Paul Edmondson was the runner up. With David Knight dnf-ing, Paul was still in with a chance of winning the E2 class. Phil Mclaughin was 3rd, Daryl Bolter (Photo left: JCM Construction) was 4th which was enough to win him the E1/4T championship. Tom Sagar was 5th & Si Wakely in 6th which was a good result as Si is still feeling the effects of the bug that took him out of the Dyfi.
Rhienallt Davies was the best Expert ahead of Mark Roberts & young scot Neil Chatham was 3rd. Matt Ridgway did well to finish 4th despite the leg injury he picked up in France. Another promising young scot - Frazer Norrie - was the best Clubman ahead of Charlie Evans. Veteran Gordon Macpherson won the Sportsman class. Alun Davies & Rees George from Ciao was the best Expert sidecar. Carl Tiley won the Vets from Murray Thomson. Neil Williams from Brecon was 3rd. Gareth Jones - one of the fastest men around any test when he is directing his boys - injured his knee. Fortunately there is never a shortage of crutches at an enduro & Gareth was able to keep going on a borrowed pair. Despite his dramas, David Knight rode all 6 tests & set the fastest times on both tests. Sam Wilson seized his motor but got a replacement barrel & piston kit from the REME team & he will start Day 2.
The start was at 9.00pm & the course was reversed except for the XC test. The "Step" was taken out. There were 3 laps from the Championship & Experts & 2 laps for the Clubman. Once the sun had risen it was warmer than Day 1. Several riders like Davies brothers, Neil Williams & John Kerwin of Dirtbike-trax opted to put their bikes away & reached for Ambre-Solaire.
Daryl Bolter retired on the first lap with a gearbox problem & chilled out with the family. Looking at the drawn faces of the riders after they emerged from the whoops on the range for the last pit stop of the day, many of them looked as if they wished they had a gearbox problem.
With his new clutch fitted, David Knight was unstoppable. He finished the overall winner & Christophe Nambotin was the runner up. After the event, Nambotin said he didn't really like the course & in places it didn't like him but despite dropping the Gas Gas more than once he set some great times on the tests. Paul Edmondson was 3rd & Tom Sagar was 4th.
Mark Roberts won the Experts & Luke Meredith was the runner up. Steve Hunt was 3rd & Neil Chatham was 4th. Matt Ridgway was injured when an impact buckled his front disc. He had to remove his caliper to carry on but he made it back to the pits & fitted a new disc without losing time. He finished 5th. The 1995 125 Championship winner - Neil Bowker - finished his 20th consecutive Natterjack. He missed the 1993 event to ride in the Dutch ISDE.
In a reversal of the Day 1 result, Welshman Charlie Evans won the Clubman class ahead of Scot Frazier Norrie. Kristian Pickworth finished 34th in the clubman class which makes him a veteran of the Natterjack at seventeen. Sam Wilson's overnight spanner work reward him with a finish. Jay Frost busted the bead on his rear tyre. Carl Tiley continued to dominate the Vets right to the end. With more Welsh wizardry, Alun Davies & Rees George made it a double in the Expert Sidecars. As did the Nevill's in the Clubman class.
Gordon Clarke lost a lot of fork oil although he did manage to collect a bit in his boots. Jon Hinam got his KTM jammed in the deepest & wettest part of the bombhole. The steam rose & it could be seen from the start. Most of it was coming out of his dad Julian's ears as he stood within yards unable to help. Lee Edmondson lost his gear oil but brought his Honda home. Jamie Paget won the Championship E3 class & Gordon Clarke was one of the first to congratulate him. With a 3rd overall for Phil McLaughlin & a double win for Carl Tiley, it was a great weekend for the TM team. In fact - thanks to Major Mike Tizard, Alan Cook, Neil Hawker & the whole REME team, it was a great for everyone & a perfect finale to the 2009 Metzeler ACU British Enduro Championship.
More photos available from Action Sport
Daryl Bolter's win E1.4 @ the Natterjack - Report
Matt Ridway's Natterjack - Report
Best ever BEC result for McLaughlin at Natterjack
Despite Phillip McLaughlin finishing third overall at the end of the opening day’s competition there was delight and frustration in equal measure within the Electraction TM UK team at the end of the final round of the ’09 British Enduro Championship. With McLaughlin claiming his highest ever BEC overall result with a solid third place on day one, behind visiting Frenchman Christophe Nambotin and former World Champion Paul Edmondson, the TM UK team’s youngest member Jamie Paget impressively ended the event as ‘09 Enduro 3 Champion. Disappointingly, a carburetor problem on day two prevented McLaughlin matching his day one result.
But at the end of the opening day’s competition McLaughlin placed a creditable third overall having started the day a she meant to continue placing second on the opening special test. Going on to perform well throughout the day McLaughlin worked hard to keep pace with the riders ahead of him and secured his best result of the season, showing that he is without question one of Britain’s most improved enduro riders. Behind McLaughlin TM UK team-mates Gordon Clarke and Jamie Paget scrapped it out for top honours in the E3 class with Clarke placing just two seconds ahead on his younger team-mate. Joining the TM UK regulars at the Natterjack was Jonathan Pettitt who placed third in the E1 two-stroke class at the end of a hard opening day.
Hopeful of matching his day one result McLaughlin frustratingly picked up a two-minute time penalty after a carburettor problem forced him to stop and make some running repairs early on day two. With the problem fixed Phillip went on to end the day well with impressive special test times on both the motocross and enduro tests. Jonathan Pettitt ended the second day’s competition as the highest placed TM rider with a runner-up result in the E1 two-stroke class. But it was Jamie Paget who had most to be pleased with. Finishing ahead of team-mate Clark, and in 13th overall, Jamie wrapped-up the Enduro 3 Championship class BEC title to bring the ’09 British Enduro Championship to a positive close for the Electraction TM UK team.
Phillip McLaughlin: “The first day went really, really well. I made a good strong start to the day on the motocross test, which was great. I made a stupid mistake on the second motocross test and stalled the bike, which cost me quite a bit of time. But I still managed to finish third overall, which is my highest finish ever. I crashed on the first motocross test on day two, which meant I had to play catch up once again. There was about five seconds covering about four riders. I had a carburettor problem on one of the test, which got worse on the going so I had to stop and fix it. I lost two minutes, which is frustrating. It’s disappointing that the last event of the championship didn’t end as well as it should have, but my speed is good and I’ve made some definite steps forward since the start of the year.”
Gordon Clarke: “The Natterjack is always a tough event, and this year it was no different. Jamie Paget and I were neck-and-neck for the E3 championship so I had to win both days. I started really well on the first day - I had a good enduro test. But then I crashed on the motocross test and lost 20 seconds. I was able to make time up on the enduro test, because I was jumping the steep wall, but then Jamie was quicker on the motocross test. By the end of the day I managed to claw my way back and at the finish was just a few seconds ahead, which was great. Jamie really went for it on day two. We were pretty equal on the enduro test but he was a few seconds quicker on the motocross test. I made a mistake and fell towards the end of the day so I’m a little disappointed to not win the E3 championship, but I had a great event and hats off to Jamie.”
Jamie Paget: “The first day was good. I had a great battle with Gordon – he was taking time out of me on the enduro test and I was beating him on the motocross test. There wasn’t much between us all day. I went for it a bit more on the second day. I managed to win all but one test in the E3 class, which I was really pleased with. I feel like I’ve made some big improvements this season. Competing in the European championship has definitely brought me on, and I’ve changed my training and that’s also helped. No, it’s a great end to the season.”
Neil Chatham wins E1/2 and takes second overall Expert at Natterjack scorcher! - Details
Scottish Riders report from the Natterjack 2009
There was as small number of riders made the long trip down to the Natterjack as many of the top riders are preparing for the ISDE in Portugal. The guys who did make the journey were rewarded by the weather, beautiful blue skies and very warm for the time of year, over 21 degrees.
The talking point in the paddock was the new man made obstacles in the Enduro test. The British Team manager Dusty Martin had built a section with tractor tyres and logs which would add a new element to the test, the main issue was 'the wall', where you had the option to ride up a wall or take an easier longer route. The first run through on Saturdays was not timed to allow a chance to clear the wall and there was a mixture of styles. Nearly all the Championship riders rode up the wall although the new E3 World Champion Christophe Nambotine needed two attempts to clear it. David Knight and Paul Edmondson made it look easy. Only a very small number in the lower classes went for the wall although Neil Chatham decided to ignore the wall altogether and go for consistency rather than risk a problem on the wall resulting damage to the bike or himself. The second decision was whether to do the big jump in the sandy motocross test, Neil had discussed it with Paul Edmondson and he reckoned that it could not be done on a 125 although when he was 19 he would have given it a go. On the second run at the motocross test Neil cleared the jump setting his fastest time so far with Johnny Little and Jimmy Ballantyne witnessing the spectacle, they did not think he was going to make it as he was so sideways, but clear it he did. Neil was the quickest rider in the expert class over all the motocross tests combined.
At the end of the three laps Neil was leading overall by a fraction of a second and headed into the final two Enduro tests behind the Championship riders, unfortunately one of them became stuck on the logs and blocked the course for Neil, if he had gone through the tapes he would have been excluded, he had to wait until the un named rider cleared the logs costing him 16 seconds and the overall win by just 6 seconds. Third overall and second E1/2 was his best result so far although there was a little disappointment at missing out on the win.
On day two Neil was still feeling unwell and could not eat very much, two crashes in the motocross test meant an uphill struggle. Neil pulled all the energy he could muster for the final motocross test and redeemed himself setting the fastest Expert time for the day. 4th overall and 2nd E1/2 was enough to win the E1/2 class and finish second overall for the weekend. Although disappointed not to take the win he was satisfied that his special test times were up with the Championship class.
Allyn Scotland travelled down with Neil to the event and was determined to perform following his overall win in Scotland at Shiplaw. On Saturday he was trying too hard a fell off 4 times in one of the Enduro tests. In the motocross test he had too many unforced falls and one where he tangled with another rider. At the end of the day he finished 5th E1/4 and 16th overall Expert. Johnny Little and Jimmy Ballantyne gave him a pep talk to get his mind in the right place for Sunday. Allyn always rides better on day two at the British events and the same applied at the Natterjack. Allyn relaxed and rode less aggressively and he finished each test in the top ten. All was looking good until he came into the penultimate check with a puncture with just 6 minutes to change the tube. The Scottish team had to swing into action just as they were winding down ready for the finish. Allyn removed the tyre while a tube and a foot pump were sourced and he made it just in time. 2nd E1/4 and 9th overall was his reward on Sunday moving him up to 4th E1/4 and 11th overall Expert for the weekend.
Fraser Norrie has started a new job and he could not get the time off to travel down on Friday so he had to fly down in the evening. It was too dark to walk the tests meaning an early start on Saturday walking round at dawn. Fraser had been looking forward to this Enduro for years as he really enjoys the sand and was looking forward to showing what he can do. Charlie Evans was not prepared to make life easy for Fraser as they swopped fastest times in both the Enduro and Motocross tests. Less than six seconds separated them at the end of day one with Fraser topping the leader board with an impressive performance. On day two Fraser had a difficult first Enduro test dropping and stalling his bike loosing him precious time. In the motocross tests he was setting a blistering pace with times that would have had him up with the leaders in the Expert class, unfortunately it was not enough to take the overall for the weekend finishing second on Sunday. Fraser has much to be proud of this year, E1/4 Clubman British Champion and he has proved he will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
Murray Thomson was not in a position to win the Over 40 class championship and he could not be caught for second place relieving him of the usual pressure at the British events. The wall was giving him cause for concern, should he or shouldn't he, that was the question? The tyres and the logs would not be a problem but he had to decide although there was the untimed run through. In the end he went for it and cleared the wall, Carl Tiley did not clear the wall giving Murray the upper hand in the Enduro test. Murray's hands give him trouble in the motocross tests and despite this he put up a fighting performance holding on for second overall on both days. Murray is at his best in the mud and when the going gets tough and technical, second place in the Over 40 British Championship for the second time behind two big names in the sport belies the talent that he obviously has.
Report from Team Charfield
It’s like childbirth, you know it’s going to hurt but you still want to do it again.
After an enforced absence in 2008 (as the ACU wisely chose to clamp down on the burgeoning flood of Yamaha 2-trac bikes entering Enduros by making them illegal) Team Charfield had had two years to forget about the whoops and remember the glory of a Natterjack finish. And they were half right.
Running on the same minute, Flipper was 3 seconds up after MX test 1, and his enthusiasm got the better of him as he lead the charge on check 3, only to take a wrong turn and find himself amongst the sidecars and quads. 50 minutes later, and with the help of a marshal, he managed to find the pits again where he called it a day. Gary went on to finish clean and take a mighty two points in the Vets class.
Sunday was even more dramatic as Gary crashed heavily in a downhill gully on the enduro test, just managing to throw himself under the faithful KTM to minimise any damage as it carthwheeled down the hill. Despite brave talk of taking the ‘extreme’ route, both riders consistently wimped out and went round the easy way. At least it meant less mud on the bikes. At the first MX test, Flipper looked more like a builder than a rider as he spent so much time up to his elbows in the sand. Deciding that a gap of over 100 secs was insurmountable, Flipper threw in the towel, effectively surrendering the Charfield championship to Gary as the score was now 7-4 with only two rounds remaining. This event is brilliant when you are on it, up on the pegs and aggressive, but as soon as you’re knackered, it’s torture. Much talk of winter training schedules on the way home and being fitter and faster next year. And definitely riding the extreme section. Maybe.
Gary Clarke #163 and Flipper Kingston #162 – Team Charfield
Ashley Wood nails 2008 Natterjack
The Natterjack - 5th round of the British Enduro Championship - took place on the 27/28th September at Longmoor camp near Bordon. Due to a clash of dates with the WEC GP of Italy, this year's event was not a Championship round for the Championship & only 7 riders entered the class. A further blow came when Paul Edmondson had an offer he couldn't refuse & sold his race bike in the week which meant that there were only 6 starters but there was no lack of excitement as young guns Ashley Wood, Jon Hinam, James Jackman & Ollie Moyce shot it out with veteran Richard Hay.
Ashley, Jon & Ollie were still fired up after their good results in Greece & Richard at 39 has lost none of his enthusiasm for the sport. He commutes 1000s of miles every year from Aberdeen to ride all over Great Britain & next year he intends to compete in the European Veterans class. TM MX rider Jon Pettitt - riding in his first Enduro - was an unknown quantity. John has been competing in the Dep Championship. He arrived in a 50 foot truck which had to have it's own route to the start & it was big enough to contain a private practice track.
Despite the ACU decision to discard the round, Major Mike Tizard & his REME team dealt with the disappointment as expected of professionals & put on a top class event that was possibly the best yet. The weather was fantastic with warm autumn sunshine in a cloudless sky quickly burning off the early morning fog. The ground was in perfect condition. After the wet summer the sandy soil was very firm & held up well.. This year - for the first tine - there was a Quads class & as well as sidecars.
The first 2 riders were flagged away at 10.00am over an impressive diamond plate ramp. The cross country test was through the trees alongside the start as usual. This year it contained an extreme section consisting of truck tyres, concrete slabs & a bog. It was for solos only. On the sighting lap, spectators caught the unusual sight of Richard Hay laying his KTM down on the tyres.
The MX test in the sandpit is a huge exercise in civil engineering for men & machines which like the Great Wall of China is visible from space. It is about half a mile from the start & - although it was on the same check as the XC test - supporters have lots of time to walk between tests to cheer on their riders. At the start of the MX test there was an option of a fast straight line double jump or a slower & safer route. Ashley Wood (above) set the fastest time on the first lap & MXer Matt Ridgeway - riding in the Experts class - set the 2nd fastest time. On his 3rd MX test Ollie Moyce broke the 4 minute barrier & set the fastest time of the day.
In the Expert class the top riders made up the time they had lost to Matt on the MX test snaking through the trees of XC test. TM rider Phillip McLoughlin (right) led from Gareth Hopkins on a Wayne Mounter KTM. Neil Bowker seized his Honda when a ring locating pin came out but he stripped the motor overnight & started the 2nd day. The splines on Christian Pickworth gear shaft wore away. Luckily Paul Green had one in stock & Christian started Day 2. Veteran Derrick Edmondson had to make a detour through the gorse when an inflatable arch collapsed on the MX test. Wyn Hughes was in great form - stunning the crowd by almost triple jumping the start of the test. He led the Veterans from Murray Thomson. Mark Houson was 3rd. Richard Ely was the best Clubman & Paul Wallis was the runner up. Tony McFie (left: photo Pete Robinson) was one of the few clubmen to do the double. Brendan Reese had an electrical problem. Rumours that the Royal Engineers were experimenting with airbags around their waist seemed be confirmed when a couple appear to have been deployed. On his final lap of the day, the top bolt of Ashley Wood's rear shock came out & he lost the spacers. Despite the breakdown he got back to the finish without loosing time & won the day. Ollie Moyce was the runner up with less than a 3 second margin separating the 2 riders. Phillip McLoughlin was the Best Expert ahead of Gareth Hopkins. Richard Ely won the Clubman class & Paul Wallis was the runner up. Wyn Hughes was the Best Veteran ahead of Murray Thomson. As the dust settled, the time keepers saw a lot of clean cards & a lot of happy riders.
Day 2 The course was reversed with the exception of the Mx test & the times were tighter by a couple of minutes. The bog on the cross country test was cut. Clubman John Mitchinson had a spare KTM bearing kit which he lent Ashley Wood who had enough working time in the morning to fit the shock spacers & a new rear tyre. It did not phase him as he extended his lead to 8 seconds over Ollie Moyce. Over five test the 2 Championship riders battled until at the end of the second day Ashley came home the winner. Ollie was once again 2nd but by the narrowest of margins. Richard Hay was 3rd. Jonathan Pettitt developed a misfire & dropped 18 minutes. Phillip McLoughlin was the Best Expert & Matt Ridgeway mastered the roots to take 2nd. For environmental reasons riders must use trials tyres on the rear for the Natterjack. Several riders - including Ollie Moyce - had trouble with the tyres turning despite double clamping them. David Lloyd-Jones retired with throttle & moose problems. Matt Holcombe won the Clubman class & Paul Wallis was the runner up. E2 Clubman Julian Hunt retired when a stick holed his radiator. James Burrows' clutch cruelly failed on his last Mx test. Chay Granby came home under his own power but on the forestry road with a cooked moose. Only 3 riders required medical attention. Ironically they were all RAF riders who had made emergency landings. Sean Davis – suffered concussion on Sat and was sent to hospital for overnight observation. Austin Clarke – joined him on Sunday with a foot injury. Nick Bartle – also joined him slightly later on Sun with a shoulder injury. Simon Thomas went for the double jump & almost made it.
Knighton & Natterjack were poles apart in some respects but they both succeeded in giving the riders exactly what they wanted. A good ride & a great event.
Final round of the 2007 Metzeler ACU British Enduro
A great season reached it's dramatic climax this weekend at the Natterjack held at the Longmoor camp near Bordon. On form the favourite was Tom Sagar. Despite missing the Tywi to ride the World Championship round in America, Tom led the BEC with 120pts but 3 other riders were still in with a chance. Simon Wakely in 2nd gained a lot of confidence from his ride in Poland which secured him the European E2/3 Junior title. Euan McConnell had already clinched the E3 BEC Championship but the top prize was still within his grasp & a rejuvenated Paul Edmondson was also a contender. Paul had won the Natterjack 7 times & he would be riding his new RM250. He had also lent a pair of RMs to the D2D Bad Boys team of Ricky Mair & Jason Thomas. Daryl Bolter's injured shoulder had put him out of contention but he would still be contesting the E1 Championship with the current leader Greg Evans.
The Natterjack is the only BEC round to be held outside Wales this year. England is a pleasant country on the Welsh borders where the locals speak a quaint language of their own. It is very flat. The start is alongside the A3 & the 40 mile lap loops around both sides of the road. The course is all on private land so there is no limitation on the entry but numbers seemed to be down on last year. Maybe the biting east wind on Friday caused everyone to cosy up a bit more this year. The Xcountry test was close to the start. It was laid out by Dusty Martin with lots of wide corners to give the riders the option of safe slower outer lines or riskier tight lines. The MX test - in the Sand Bowl - was sponsored by DEP pipes. The Reme Team worked all week with 3 diggers to build the whoops, jumps & berms. Last years experiment with MX tyres proved to be a one off so this year it was back to trail tyres & Paul Green was on site to supply them.
Saturday: The weather was wet but the clouds were thin & the showers would not last. There were 3 & a bit laps for the Championship The first 3 riders were piped away by Clerk of the Course Major Mike Tizard at 10am. Ashley Wood’s plug fouled in the first quarter mile. Ollie Moyce's tyre came off & he had to improvise a tyre lever out of screw driver. Chris Lappin had an electrical problem. There was a tough climb on the Mx test. By the time Simon White & James Cutt got to the top the kettle was boiling. The Reme Team were there to give a hand - particularly for riders on Harleys. Andy Barford’s Honda lost compression & he had to press gang a couple of spectators. Austin Clarke was riding in his first time card enduro for the RAF. He punctured his rear tyre on the MX test but his mate borrowed the enduronews pushbike to get a tube from the pits & he carried on to finish.
Paul Edmondson was fastest on the MX tests by 9 seconds & Tom Sagar was fastest on XCs. Paul was the overall winner on Day 1, ahead of Daryl Bolter. This was a good result for Daryl who had to replace his pipe after flattening it in the Sand Bowl. Tom was third & his 15pts secured him the Championship. Tim Lewis retired after falling heavily on the first MX test & aggravating the chest injury he sustained in the Rhayader. Ollie Moyce was getting lots of air on the test. At one point he appears to have lodged his YZ in the branches of tree & he has decided to climb. down. Mike Bailey was the Best Clubman & Tudor Davies was the runner up. At last it came together for Darren Carter to win the Experts class. Julian Harvey was 2nd. The newly crowned Clubman champion – Gareth Hopkins - was 4th in his first ride in the Expert class. Adrian Lappin was the Best Veteran ahead of Neil Williams. Greame Naismith was 3rd. Only 2 outfit contested the Championship Sidecar class. Graham Jones/Simon Brown were the winners & the Barnett’s were the runners up. Out of the 4 Clubman Sidecars that started only Craig Radford/Gareth Clarke crossed the finishing line. In the Standard Service class lance corporal Phil Cooper bulldozed his Harley to the finish. With the bikes stowed safely in the Parc Ferme the riders walked the test as the sun set behind rose tinted mackerel sky.
Sunday. The start was at 9am. The sky was grey but it soon cleared into a bright day. Both tests were reversed. This created the possibility of a 52 foot jump over the Bombhole on the MX test. A thing can be possible without being advisable. Richard Hay was the first rider through & he surprised everyone by avoiding the hole & riding along the narrow edge at good speed. Several other riders tried the line but with varying success. Most went through the hole until Ricky Mair arrived & sailed across. Moments later Paul Edmondson matched him (photo: top). It electrified the crowd. Expert Barry Kinley also made the jump. It was short & it was ugly but we loved it. Paul won the test by 2 second.
Between the laps Roger Baker entertained the crowd with some freestyle on his boys Yam. The REME team have had been working hard in some far distant sands & it's good to see them getting the chance to relax at home. Lee Edmondson retired with a bit to much sand in his carb. Courtenay James was lucky when Nathan Ostridge spotted something he took to be a stick in the rear wheel at the start of a test. It turned out to be Courtenay's spindle which had worked itself loose. Jon Hinam blew his gasket but he had already done enough to secure the E1 Expert Championship. Ollie Moyce's rear wheel day 1 repair proved to be temporary as the bead had broken & he retired. Dylan & Robert Jones' genetic clocks must be synchronized as they match their times for some good natured family rivalry.
By lap 3 news of Paul & Ricky's jumps had got back to the pits & in particular to Euan McConnell who decided join the club. It worked well for him & he moved up to 2nd. Paul was the overall winner to add an 8th Natterjack premier to his trophy cabinet. Tom Sagar's D3-Racing Team were on the finishing line to give 2007 Champion a champagne pressure washing. Daryl Bolter won the E1 Championship. Andrew Edwards lost his silencer & he had to finish with an underpowered standard pipe. Heinrich Primic finished his last enduro. Overall Darren Carter won the Experts from Barry Kinley. Gareth Hopkins was 4th. Mike Bailey was the Best Clubman ahead of Tudor Davies.
The Team Competition could not have been closer with the MPS Racing/HuskySport team of Simon Wakely, Mick Seward, Gavin Houson winning by 1 point from Team Scotland - Richard Hay, Euan McConnell, Graeme Naismith. Despite losing 40pts at the Tywi, Electraction TM were only 6pts off the lead in 3rd. The Best Club award went to the MWTRA Team of Tudor Davies, Rheinallt Davies, David Jones & the REME Yamaha A team of Daz Hughes, Mike Bailey, Lee Bailey won the Best Services Trophy.
Photo available from Arctic-exposures.co.uk
Eddy wins a wet Natterjack
The Bike-it Dixon Racing Natterjack 2 Day Enduro – final round of the British Enduro Championship - took place this weekend - 30th Sept & 1st Oct - on the army ranges near Bordon, Hampshire. The record breaking long hot days of Summer had been replaced by warm, damp Autumn winds from the Southwest during the preceding week & the forecast was for showers. A forecast that would prove to be an understatement.
The REME team’s course looped around the forests on the north & the south of the A3 to form a figure of 8 with the start, re-fuelling & both tests at the centre. The X-country test threaded itself through the trees on a slope opposite the Start & the MX test was half a mile away in a sandpit. The going at Bordon is generally sandy & flat in comparison to Wales. There are few fire road & the continuous pounding that the riders take between the trees on the "whoops" - as the sand mounds up - makes the Natterjack a physically demanding event. As well as a good suspension set up the riders must be prepared for blistered hands & monkey butt but - with the Championship sown up & David Knight absent - there were plenty of contenders ready for the challenge.
Day 1 started at 10 am. After a night of heavy rain the sky was clear & the sun shone. Jacks Johns' Yamaha laid down at the end of lap one to catch a few rays & didn’t want to get back up. Wyn Hughes fell heavy & tore his shoulder muscle. Lee Edmondson also had a heavy fall & retired. Ian Mundell was seriously injured when his throttle jammed & he hit a tree. His leg was fractured in several places. Here's wishing him a quick recovery. Paul Edmondson won the day by 5 seconds from Jake Stapleton. Euan McConnell set the fastest time on the 1st test but slowed later to finish 3rd. Ashley Wood was the Best Expert ahead of Darren Carter. Graeme Naismith won the Veteran & Neil Williams was the runner up.
Day 2 started an hour early at 9am & so did the rain. The course was reversed. Andrew Edwards’ clutch was leaking & needed attention. Daryl Bolter was flying but as the times got tighter so did his recently injured wrist & he retired. Ricky Mair lost his kickstart & then his motor began to cut out. Next year he will concentrating on MX.
At 12.30 - as the Championship class were preparing for their 2nd MX test - the heaven opened. Wind, rain & hale rolled over the forest in deluge of Biblical proportions. It flattened the admin tent & blew over the start. It looked like a prelude to a shower of the eponymous Natterjack Toads. Paul Edmondson (left) demonstrates the conditions on the test in semi darkness with hale stones impacting all around him. At the height of the storm, with the sky at it's gloomiest & between flashes of lightning, Van Hesling the Vampire Slayer appeared on the test & had a close encounter with Jake Stapleton. As the water rose the top riders adopted a strategy of imagining the bike has become something more marine friendly. Most - like Chris Hockey - chose the jet ski but Robert Warner plumped for the less successful submarine. The storm was over in ten minutes but the sheer volume of water had filled bomb holes all around the course & the organisers took the very sensible decision to cancel the final lap.
Paul Edmondson won Day 2 ahead of Jake Stapleton. Simon Wakely was 3rd which was an excellent result as he was on antibiotics for a chest infection. Next year Simon will be supported by MPS Racing. The Best Expert was Steve Dustow & Darren Carter was the runner up. Ashley Wood was 3rd. Neil Williams from Brecon - who relishes the tough going - won the Veteran class from Mark Houson. Greame Naismith was 3rd. Rob Faulkner was unable to ride as he is still recovering from the shoulder injury he sustained at the Rhayader. Tim Foreman was injured & was taken to A&E for a check up. Craig Bounds could be described as "laid back" but he has none of the urgency that the phrase implies. He hitched a ride & made the 180 mile journey to Bordon lying across the seats of 3 bikes in the back of a transit., picked up a gold & stretched out again all the way home.
Here are a few of the REME team who help make the Natterjack such an annual success (left to right: Dickie Barton, Steve Hunt, Kev Murray, Roger Baker & Andy Williams). They would like to thank Yamaha for their support.
Championship Standings - Subject to confirmation of the results,
David Knight won the 2006 British Enduro Championship with a round in hand. Paul Edmondson was the runner up. Despite breaking his leg in middle of the season, Edward Jones was the Best E1 rider ahead of his brother Robert. Paul Edmondson won the E2 class & Euan McConnelll was the runner up. David Knight was the best of a small E3 class ahead of Chris Tett. In the Open Championship, Australian Jake Stapleton was 3rd Overall.
2006 British Enduro Championship Team Competition
The 2006 British Enduro Championship Team Competition raised £520 to support British Teams in New Zealand. The Par Homes Trade team of Paul Edmondson, Simon Wakely & Ashley Wood was the overall winner. Team Scotland - Richard Hay, Derek Little & Graeme Naismith - were the Runner up & won the Best Open Team award. Team Blue Noses (left) - Neil Parry, Steve Parry, Wayne Johnson - were 3rd. North Berks MCC "B" was Best Club team & despite not being able to field a full team at their home event, REME Yamaha were the Best Services team.
The Team Competition went well & Enduro News plans to run it again in 2007 with 2 slight changes. Each team can drop one round & team managers will receive a reminder before each round to check they have a full team.
Edmondson wins final round of ’06 BEC - press release
PAR Homes Honda Racing Fast Eddy rider Paul Edmondson brought his ’06 British Enduro Championship season to a winning close by topping both days of the fifth round of the series, the REME organised Natterjack Enduro. Already crowned Enduro 2 British champion at the penultimate round of the championship Edmondson placed five seconds ahead of Australian Jake Stapleton on day one and 10 seconds up on day two. In doing so, and taking advantage of the fact that David Knight wasn’t competing, Eddy claimed his first double BEC win of the season.
Looking forward to getting to the Natterjack’s sandy motocross test Edmondson was confident of victory on day one and with the weather fine found himself battling with Australian Jake Stapleton. With Jake having the upper hand on the tight and technical enduro test Edmondson proved the faster rider on the motocross test and the pair traded special test wins all day. With little to separate the two riders on either test the pair pulled clear of the rest of the Championship class with Edmondson claiming the overall win five seconds ahead of Stapleton.
Wanting to ensure that he made things a little easier for himself on day two Edmondson attacked the first timed motocross test in an attempt to open up a sizeable lead. Beating Stapleton by eight seconds Edmondson had no idea at that point just how important his advantage would be as heavy rain later caused the organisers to scrap the third and final lap and its two special tests. With Jake managing to squeeze ahead of Edmondson on the one and only timed enduro test Edmondson brought his ’06 BEC to a wining close by topping the third and final special test of the day and in doing so claimed the overall day, and event, win.
Paul Edmondson: “Winning the final round of the ’06 British Enduro Championship is a great way to end the season. The Natterjack is one of my favourite types of going and I really enjoyed the event – especially the motocross test.
“I was quicker on the motocross test than I was on the enduro test but I felt pretty good on both tests. Jake and myself were a fair way ahead of anyone else on the enduro test, which was good. There wasn’t a lot between us but I made my motocross tests count and managed to win both days.
“I didn’t have any problems on the first day, I wasn’t taking any major risks, and I really enjoyed it. The great thing about the Natterjack special test is that you can be really aggressive, which you can’t on many of the other tests in the BEC.
“Day two was spot on as well. I tried to start as strong as possible and by putting in a good opening motocross test I was confident that I could win, which I did. With the weather turning out the way it did I’m glad that I got a good opening test under my belt. Cutting the second day to two laps was definitely the right thing to do, it was unbelievable how much water was on the ground after the thunder storm.
“I think this year’s BEC series has been the best for many years – we’ve had great events and the competition in the Championship class is closer than it has been for years. My focus this season was on British events so to win the Enduro 2 class of the BEC, and finishing runner-up to Knighter, is great. That added to winning the Fast Eddy Cross Country series has made it a really good season.”
Stapleton and McConnell perform well at ’06 BEC final
Electraction TM UK riders Jake Stapleton and Euan McConnell continued their good form in the ’06 British Enduro Championship with the pair placing in second and third in the Overall Championship class results on day one at the REME organised BEC final round. Backing up their good day one results Jake and Euan then placed in second and seventh on the rain soaked second day. In doing so the pair finished in third and fourth in the Open Overall British Enduro Championship behind world champion David Knight and former world champion Paul Edmondson.
After beating Paul Edmondson on both days of the fourth round of the ’06 BEC series Jake was hoping to end his British championship on a high note and again place ahead of the former world champion. But with Edmondson also wanting to bring ’06 to a triumphant close the pair were locked in a head-to-head battle for victory on day one with Jake getting the upper hand on the enduro test and Edmondson on the motocross tests. After six special tests Jake finished just five seconds behind Edmondson having won each of the day’s three enduro tests.
Wanting to go one better on day two Jake frustratingly tried too hard on the opening motocross test and dropped eight seconds to Edmondson. Despite winning the day’s one and only enduro test Jake was defeated by Edmondson by just two seconds, which resulted in Stapleton again placing second overall as the day was cut short due to extremely wet weather.
Performing well on the Natterjack’s power sappy motocross test aboard his 450cc TM Euan McConnell was unable to match the pace of Edmondson and team-mate Stapleton on the enduro test on day one yet still managed to place a creditable third. Winning the opening day’s first motocross test outright Euan continued to perform well on the MX test but due to the enduro test being extremely tight and twisty he was unable to challenge for a top two position and ended the day third but as first four-stroke.
Finishing second on Sunday’s opening test Euan again struggled on the tight enduro test and following a heavy crash on the going early in the day was unable to repeat his finishing result from day one. With rain falling heavily during the second lap conditions became extremely challenging and as a result Euan finished in seventh, just six seconds from third.
Jake Stapleton: “Day one was a pretty good day really. I felt good but I made a lot of small mistakes on the motocross test. It’s one of those tests that if you make one mistake it messes you up for a bunch of corners. The enduro test got pretty rough and bumpy but it seemed to suit me. I was feeling pretty worn out by the end of the day but finishing close behind Edmondson and second overall was really good.
“I really wanted to be quicker on the motocross test on day two but I wasn’t, which really frustrated me. I think that I was trying too hard, which made things worse I guess. When the rain started it was horrendous. I managed to deal with things as best I could and I got another good result, which is a great way to end the season.”
Euan McConnell: “Day one started well. I loved the motocross test and the 450 really suited the power sapping sand but I knew that I was going to struggle on the tight enduro test, and I did. It was so tight it was really hard to get going on the bigger four-stroke. I was just riding conservatively making sure that I didn’t stall the bike. Paul and Jake were taking about 15 to 20 seconds a test out of me. But the motocross test went really well and was great fun. I won the first motocross test so I had the speed on that test, just not on the enduro test.
“I knew that I would struggle on the enduro test on day two but I crashed heavily on the check before the first enduro test, which de-tuned me and shook me up a bit. My enduro test on day two was actually going quite well but after the downpour my bike took in some water and started to cut out at times. There was nothing you could do to avoid the water, there was just so much of it. Day two would have been pretty good but the weather made it a bit of a lottery, which is a shame because it was a good event and I was really enjoying the motocross test.”
Natterjack British Championship Enduro Scottish Riders Report
The weathermen forecast rain over the weekend for the Natterjack Enduro and they were proven correct. There were rain showers on Saturday that did not spoil an enjoyable event, on Sunday however, the weather was the worst anyone had seen at a British Championship. Rain, hailstones and enough wind to wreck all the pop up awnings that were sheltering the pit crews. The organisation at the event was first class as always, although all the army marshals were needed to shepherd all riders home on Sunday. There was a sand quarry that provided an excellent MX test and an extreme Enduro test next to the start finish area.
Euan McConnell set the fastest time in the first MX test, just one second faster than eventual winner Paul Edmondson. The more technical Enduro test is where this event is won or lost and Paul Edmondson was in a class of his own around this part of the track. Euan battled with Jake Stapleton for second place and although Euan was very quick in the MX test Jake was quicker in the Enduro test and Euan finished the day in third place. On day two Euan was very competitive until the worst of the weather made the Enduro test even tougher for the four fifty bikes as the course was virtually washed away. Euan was relieved that although he finished 7th on Sunday he had done enough on Saturday to retain his third place overall for the weekend.
Ricky Mair had his best result in the Championship class with an E1 class win. Ricky and Andrew Edwards swapped quickest times all day with Ricky taking the E1 win and seventh overall. The sandy going suited Ricky as his home track in Elgin is similar to the Natterjack sandy MX track. Unfortunately the his luck changed on Sunday with Ricky loosing his kick-start and then his engine sounded as if some of the sand had worked its way into somewhere it shouldn't have been, leading to retirement. Ricky is going to concentrate on motocross next year and will only ride selected Enduros; this will be a great loss to the British Enduro Championship scene.
Richard Hay rode consistently to finish 4th E1 and 10th overall on Saturday; unfortunately this was not enough to catch Edward Jones who won the E1 Enduro Championship at the Naterjack Enduro. Richard hit a tree on Sunday and dropped to 8th E1 and 15th overall, to slow Richard it must have been painful.
Derek Little once again rode hard to finish both days clean on time, considering the conditions on Sunday this was a great achievement. Derek finished 18th overall and qualified for a Gold medal. A disaster was averted when Dad Johnny and Jim missed a refuel, Pauline Hay came to the rescue and Derek received the necessary petrol to complete the next check.
Paul Chatham has had his share of bad luck this year and this event proved no different. Paul had a problem with his rear wheel that resulted in his retirement on the second lap. Paul had earlier set a top ten special test time that proved his potential once his luck returns. Paul borrowed a rear wheel from Par Honda and managed to finish 8th E1 expert on Sunday.
Neil Chatham finished 4th E1 and 8th Clubman overall on Saturday, this result would have delighted most 16 year old riders, Neil felt he could do better. On Sunday he proved his point and finished 1st overall Clubman and lifted his result to 2nd E1 and 4th overall Clubman for the weekend. The weather had been at its worst during the last loop before the event was called to a halt. Neil rode through the rain and hailstones to finish with just 15 seconds to spare before loosing time on the course. 'You could not tell which puddles were really deep and which were shallow and that made it really difficult to judge which line to choose' Neil said afterwards.
Allyn Scotland arrived at the event with swollen eyes and not feeling his best, an eye infection was causing him discomfort to say the least. Allyn was in contention for the E1 Clubman class and nothing was going to stop him competing. Allyn had walked the MX test on Friday but forgot about a jump and not only cleared it, he cleared the tape and landed on the track for the opposite direction. 'I could not believe the hight of the jump I did' Allyn said afterwards. By the time he had fought his way back to the correct piece of track he had lost too much time, to make himself feel better he finished 3rd quickest on the Clubman Enduro test on Saturday. Allyn finished 8th E1 and 15th Clubman overall on Saturday and following a spirited ride on Sunday he pulled himself up to 4th E1 and 9th Clubman overall for the weekend, not quite enough to take the Championship unfortunately.
Jamie Humpage joined the more experienced riders for his first attempt at a British Championship event. Jamie rode to the best of his ability, unfortunately the 5hour day proved too demanding. Cramp and fatigue forced him to stop one stage from the finish. Despite this he started day two and was prepared to have another go, no one could have predicted the terrible weather that made the track impossible for someone like Jamie with limited experience. While negotiating his way past a sidecar outfit Jamie slid into a deep hole and it took three army marines and a quad to tow him out. Although he did not finish he did learn a huge amount that he can put to practise in the Scottish Championship.
Three times Veteran British Enduro Champion Graeme Naismith has had a difficult year, eye surgery earlier this year and he managed to put his back out at the Rhayader in October. Despite this Graeme has remained very competitive in the Veteran Class. Graeme won the Veteran class on day one at the Natterjack and he finished third in the waterlogged day two. Although these results were excellent Graeme knew going into the event that he could not over take Robert Faulkner who had amassed enough points earlier in the season to take the championship.
Natterjack Success For Neil Chatham
Neil Chatham won the second day of the waterlogged Natterjack British Championship Enduro on Sunday 1st October. The heavens opened and riders and support crew had to endure rain, hail, wind, thunder and lightening. The weather was so bad that the organisers had to cut short the event by one lap and cancel the final Enduro Special test as the timing gear was shut down by the rain. Neil had finished 4th E1 and 8th Clubman overall on Saturday but he was disappointed and thought he could do better. On Sunday he proved his point despite the conditions, the worst of the weather hit as he set out on the last 47minute loop of the day. 'The track was completely waterlogged and it was difficult to judge whether the water was deep or shallow' Neil said afterwards. Neil arrived at the final check with just 15 seconds to spare before being penalised, this resulted in a clean time sheet and the Clubman class win for the day. The win on Sunday pulled Neil up to 2nd E1 and 4th Clubman overall for the weekend. Neil only started riding in Enduros in June following his sixteenth birthday and he has achieved some excellent results in a very short period of time. Neil won the E1 Clubman class at the Otterburn Enduro, 1st 125 at one of the Fast Eddy National Championship rounds and he has had several podium finishes in the Scottish Clubman Enduro Championship. Neil would like to start next year the same way he finished this year with a win.
Simon Wakely won the BEC Natterjack Enduro on the 15th & 16th October. Chris Hay was the runner up. The event was supported by Bike-it Dixon Racing. This year's event coincided with the final round of the World Enduro Championship in Italy & therefore BEC points will be awarded in the Expert & Clubman classes only.
Scottish Riders Report
Chris Hay had a successful return to the British Championship with a strong performance to 2nd overall, following several injuries this year. Chris used this non Championship points round to stage his comeback and although he was disappointed not to win he feels back in the hunt at the top level once more. Chris won three tests outright and equalled Simon Wakely on another two other tests. Unfortunately a fall in one of the enduro tests ended his challenge for the win. Chris is looking forward to the John Banks Enduro in November, Chris has always enjoyed this sand event which he hopes will set him up for the 2006 Championship.
Richard Hay made the long journey down from Aberdeen with his family to compete in this event. Richard would have preferred a lighter two stroke for the twisting enduro tests, despite this he put up an excellent performance to finish seventh overall. There had been heavy rain for two days before the event which made the going slippery and there were a few deep puddles to make things interesting. Even 'Iron Man' Richard found the whooped out 52 minute loop heavy going.
Ricky Mair rode brilliantly despite a problem with his bike which as good as finished his challenge in the first test on day one. Ricky had fitted a new engine for this event and it was causing problems at the start. He had to work on the bike in the first test as it was not running well at first costing him time on the course. Ricky continued despite this and finished day one in 12th place. On Sunday he had a much better day and set some cracking times on the tests.
Although this round did not count towards the Championship for the Premier Class it did count for the Experts and the Clubmen. Paul Chatham's goal was to keep himself in the hunt for the E1 Championship and maintain a podium position in the Clubman class overall. Paul achieved these goals by finishing second overall in the Clubman Class behind E1 Championship leader Ashley Wood. Paul was third on Saturday behind Over 40 and Clubman Championship leader Graeme Naismith by just 0.4 seconds.He pulled this back on Sunday to take second place overall by just 1.5 seconds. The John Banks Enduro in November will be an exciting conclusion to a long season.
Graeme Naismith has all but tied up the Clubman Championship with third place overall, needing only to finish in the points to take the win. Graeme has had a great season and he has finished in the top three at every event. It was not all plain sailing as Graeme found the long 52 minute check hard, but he was still looking at his best in the sand quarry motocross test.
The Natterjack - final round of the 2003 ACU British Enduro Championship - took place on the 20th & 21st September. With the absence of David Knight who had already won enough points to secure the Championship, Edward Jones was the quickest on Day 1 ahead of Juan Knight. On Day 2, Juan set the quickest time to take the Premier & Euan McConnell's 3rd on Day 1 & 2nd on Day 2 made him the runner up. Daryl Bolter - who had already clinched the Best Expert title - stepped up into the Championship class & was straight into the points with a 6th & 5th (5th overall).